TTWWD – The Mighty Niagara

Niagara, as you doubtless know already means the River that Thunders. Today I went above, below, under and around The Falls from America to Canada and back. It is rather a fine thing to go to Canada for a day! It is certainly a bit more unusual than going to Paris for the day, which I have done several times.

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Going under The Horseshoe Falls from the Canadian side is really rather terrifying, though it has to be said a great deal safer than an experience I had in Venezuela several years ago.

I went there with one of my sons, and when he went off to wherever he was going next, I went to the Canaima National Park and one of the things we did was to walk over a river, that is to say the river ran into a crack in the rock and vanished. We walked over the rocks one one side to the other bank, we then walked down a steep path to another set of rocks where the river reappeared in a huge spouting waterfall. To get back to the bank we had previously been on, we walked under the falling water, on a slippery ledge, with very little (I mean almost nothing) to prevent us from going over the edge and falling about another 100 feet. But about half way across we had to walk right through the freezingly cold water, making quite a big step over a gap in the rock. The woman in front of me stopped and was completely unable to go forward. None of us could go back and the guide was the other side waiting for her to walk across. He couldn’t hear a thing, she couldn’t move and I was next.

I had to persuade her (at the top of my voice, never entirely calming) to flatten herself against the wall of rock and NOT TO MOVE AN INCH while I squeezed past her and crossed the gap. Truly, I don’t think I have ever been quite so frightened in my life, even of a spider. I then had to explain to the guide what had happened, he didn’t speak good English and I didn’t have enough Spanish to explain except by gesture and mime against the thunderous roar of water. It was all resolved safely, and he went back and got the woman across the gap. But I wouldn’t chose to do that again.

The Horseshoe Falls tunnel is as safe as houses compared to this, but the thunder completely freaked me out and I had to get away as fast as I could.

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